Board of Directors

Alberta Sport Connection (ASC) Board of Directors is a dedicated volunteer group responsible for the governance and management of ASC. They establish policy, oversee the implementation of core businesses, and provide guidance to assist ASC in achieving  its vision and mission.

Our mandate is to develop and maintain sports programs, facilities and services: and to raise funds to be used in assisting the corporation in the carrying out of its objectives.

ACS is a provincial corporation dedicated to the development of sport from the grassroots to high-performance. Our mission is to enhance, advocate and inspire participation and partnership as Albertans strive for excellence in sport. Our vision is for Alberta to be the premier sport delivery system in Canada.

More than 40 athletes who have participated in ASC’s Alberta Winter Games have gone on to represent Canada at the Olympic Games.

Board Members

These individuals are appointed by the Government of Alberta:

Chair

Dr. Stephen Norris, PH. D, Cochrane

A leading performance consultant and sport scientist, currently working with a select group of international organizations engaged in the performance of sport, business, and military objectives. Recent projects include: Hockey Canada; the International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF); the Professional Golfers’ Association of America (PGA); LEGO©; SERIOUS PLAY©; and several sport development and corporate speaking engagements worldwide.

Recognized as a leading authority on child and youth activity and athletic development, Stephen is also one of the five founding contributors to the ‘Canadian Sport for Life’ movement, involving long-term athlete/participant development and the concept of ‘physical literacy’ within Canada.

Previously Stephen, as the Chief Sport Officer at WinSport, was part of the visionary team that laid the foundation for the WinSport Winter Sport Institute based in Calgary and Canmore. Stephen is the past Director of Sport Physiology and Strategic Planning at the Canadian Sport Centre Calgary, where he was focused on Canada’s Winter Olympic teams for three Olympic cycles (Salt Lake City 2002, Torino 2006, and Vancouver 2010) as part of a multi-disciplinary team, headed by Dr. David Smith. He continues to work with Canada’s Winter Olympic Teams as a lead performance consultant, which included the preparation for the Sochi 2014 and PyeongChang 2018 Olympic Winter Games.

 

Vice Chair

Ms. Kelly Blackshaw, BPE, CEP, Calgary

Kelly is a Kinesiologist and certified exercise physiologist. She is the past President and co-owner of Foothills Health Consultants, a leading provider of medical, fitness and health programs and services to over 150 corporations in Calgary and throughout Alberta.

Currently the Director of Business Development at Wello, she continues her passion for creating happy, healthy, high-performing workplaces. Throughout her life she has been a leader in fitness and athletics and is recognized for many outstanding accomplishments, including being inducted into the Alberta Sports Hall of Fame, and receiving the Booster Club Athletic Leader Award and an Alberta Certified Exercise Physiologist Recognition Award.

Kelly was also honoured with the Alberta Centennial Salute Award in Sport and Recreation for her work with children through KidSport, the charity she co-founded. Recently she was recognized by the Conference Board of Canada as a Pioneer in the field of Workplace Health. Kelly and her family enjoy numerous activities including: golfing, skiing, scuba diving, hiking, and biking.

Members

Ms. Ann MacTaggart, CA, Sherwood Park

Ann is a lifelong participant in sport and has played or been involved in ringette for over 20 years. She has been a dedicated parent volunteer at numerous school and local ringette association events. A past Treasurer for her local ringette association, Ann has also served on the Board of Directors for Ringette Alberta as Director at Large and most recently as President.

Ann is a Certified Professional Accountant (CPA) and a Chartered Accountant (CA) and an independent consultant with a practice focusing on assisting clients to achieve operational excellence by supporting and managing organizational systems and cultural change associated with finance and information technology (IT) functions.

She has a Bachelor of Commerce and a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Alberta. Ann has held numerous positions in the financial sector, including: Chief Accountant; Controller; and Chief Financial Officer for Alberta companies of various sizes. In addition, Ann is a past Director of Member Education for CPA Alberta (formerly, the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Alberta), where she was responsible for the Professional Development program, serving approximately 10,000 members and clients.
Ann has also been an instructor for Edmonton Public Schools and CPA Alberta and has established and expanded her consulting practice to serve a wide variety of industry sectors. Ann and her family enjoy numerous sports and outdoor activities.

Mr. Antonio (Tony) Flores, Edmonton

Tony Flores is a multi-sport para athlete in wheelchair track and road racing, hand cycling, paranordic and paracanoe. He was a member of the Canadian National Paracanoe team and a national champion.

He believes that excellence in sport not only promotes good health but also promotes equality and peace.

Tony is Director General of the International Paralympic Committee’s “Whang Youn Dai Achievement Award”, a position he has held for the past eight Paralympic Games. The award is presented at every Paralympic Games to one male and one female athlete who “best exemplify the spirit of the Games and inspire and excite the world”. Tony has maintained the integrity of this Award at the highest standard.

Tony is formerly a Public Trustee Representative with the Office of the Public Guardian and Trustee. Mr. Flores was appointed as Alberta’s first Advocate for Persons with Disabilities on October 30, 2018.

 Ms. Erica Wiebe, BA, BKnes, Calgary

Erica is the 2016 Olympic Champion in Freestyle Wrestling; two-time Commonwealth Games Champion; six-time National Champion; and three-time Canadian Inter-university Sport (CIS) Champion.

In addition to being a high-performance athlete, Erica is a consultant at Deloitte in the Human Capital practice, where she has an alternative work arrangement to balance her training. She is an ambassador with Right to Play, Fast and Female, and KidSport Calgary.

She is an active member of the Calgary Amateur Wrestling Association board as well as a previous athlete representative for the Alberta and Canadian Wrestling Associations.

Her passion for sport is evident in her work as an athlete, coach, clinician, volunteer, and ambassador.

Erica has a Bachelor of Kinesiology and a Bachelor of Arts degree (Honours) from the University of Calgary.

Ms. Helen Upperton, Calgary

A two-time Olympian and an Olympic silver medalist in bobsleigh; Helen’s home town is Calgary. Growing up in Alberta, she competed at the junior national and national level in luge, soccer, and track and field, which led her to the University of Texas in Austin, where she earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Kinesiology.

She retired from high-performance sport in 2012, but she remains very active in the sport community in Canada. Helen previously worked with both Winter Olympic legacy organizations, WinSport and Whistler Sport Legacies. Currently she is under contract with the Calgary 2026 Games Bid Corporation.

She served for eight years as an officer with the Canadian Olympic Committee Athlete Commission and Board of Directors. She is also the CBC World Cup and Olympic Sports Analyst for both bobsleigh and skeleton.

Helen works as an athlete mentor and advisor for both B2ten and the Canadian Olympic Committee and has attended both the London and Rio Olympic Games as part of Canada’s mission team.

Committed to giving back to the community, Helen volunteers for Right to Play, Fast and Female and Doctors Without Borders.

Mr. Jesse Bhondi, Edmonton

Jesse Bhondi is a professional with 13 years of experience in the health care sector, public service, and management consulting with a strong background supporting diversity.

He is recognized as a leader with strengths in strategic planning, leading change, re-engineering business processes, defining continuous improvement processes, facilitating brainstorming, building consensus, and being part of powerful teams that conquer obstacles.
Jesse is originally from British Columbia’s west coast. He has a Bachelor’s Degree in Nutritional Sciences from the University of British Columbia; a Bachelor of Science in Kinesiology from the University of Alberta; and an executive MBA, with a focus on consulting, from Royal Roads University.
He is an avid sport enthusiast, competing in multiple sports throughout his youth, and is a martial artist (2nd Degree Black Belt in Tae Kwon Do) and a weightlifter.

Jesse lives in Edmonton and is dedicated to giving back to his community. He has worked with a number of organizations including the: BC Special Olympics, Canadian Diabetes Association, and the Ribbon Rouge Foundation (dedicated to eradicating HIV).

Ms. Kody Taylor, Edmonton

Kody Taylor is an Ojibway woman from the Berens River First Nation. Growing up in the small community of Riverton, Manitoba, she has a real appreciation of grassroots programming.

Kody actively participated in multiple sports as an athlete and a coach and her love of sport and recreation influenced her professional life, as Kody was the Assistant Executive Director of the Manitoba Badminton Association.

Kody is actively involved with the Friendship Centre Movement, the largest urban Aboriginal service delivery provider in Canada. She was a member of the National Association of Friendship Centre’s Aboriginal Youth Council for five years, eventually being elected President. She has attended the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues in New York; an EU-Canada Roundtable on Youth Participation in Finland; and presented to the Liberal Caucus of Canada on “Youth, Jobs, and the Economy”.

A recipient of the Manitoba Aboriginal Youth Achievement Award and the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal, Kody has a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Native Studies and Ojibway, and a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Political Science, from the University of Manitoba.

Kody lives in Edmonton and is the Special Initiatives Manager with the Alberta Native Friendship Centres Association.

Ms. Taryn Barry, MPE, Edmonton

Taryn is a three-time Academic All Canadian who played hockey for the University of Alberta Pandas, winning four CIS National Championships and five Canada West titles. She was nationally honoured with the TSN Marion Hillard Award for exceptional contribution to university sport in community service, athletics, and academics. She also played soccer competitively for Team Alberta, the Edmonton Scottish Angels and the British United Football Club in Brussels.

Professionally, Taryn has worked for the Canadian Soccer Association during the 2007 FIFA U20 Men’s World Cup, the International University Sports Federation (FISU) in Belgium from 2008-2011, and Hockey Canada, in coaching and player development from 2015-2018.

Taryn is committed to charitable giving and international development, fulfilling the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) role in Cameroon. She started the Etisha Foundation, a charity supporting orphaned children and recently joined forces with the Cameroonian-Canadian Foundation in Calgary, as the Chair of the Grant Committee for health-related projects. She has participated in international forums in Quebec City (2008) and Kyoto, Japan (2012) on the conservation of World Heritage, where she was awarded UNESCO funding to oversee a cross-cultural youth project.

A resident of Edmonton, Taryn is a Doctoral student in the Faculty of Kinesiology, Sport and Recreation, at the University of Alberta.

Mr. Wade Kolmel, Calgary

Recently appointed as the Athletic Director for SAIT, in Calgary, Wade is a former Director of Sport and Wellness for Keyano College in Fort McMurray, where he spent more than 17 years. During his time at Keyano, the Huskies underwent considerable growth and expansion.

Wade was actively involved with local figure skating, minor hockey, baseball and numerous multi-sport championships hosted in the regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo for the past 17 years. He was President of the Wood Buffalo Sport Hall of Fame Society and an advocate of the future Wood Buffalo Sport Connection. He is a previous recipient of the Canadian Colleges Athletic Association Athletic Director of the Year award, a former President of the Alberta Colleges Athletic Association, and was an active sport volunteer within the Municipality of Wood Buffalo. He is proud of the three CCAA National Championship Committees he was part of while in Fort McMurray.

Completing his second term with the Alberta Sport Connection, Wade was vice-chair of the Alberta Sport Plan Task Force which, through provincial consultation, set a strong direction for future sport programs and services available throughout our province. Wade has three children and his family enjoys a number of outdoor activities and sports including skiing, swimming, hockey, hiking, curling and many others.

Chief Executive Officer

Mr. Lloyd Bentz

Compensation Disclosure

The Alberta government requires the public disclosure of compensation for employees of agencies, boards and commissions over a certain threshold.

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